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ILR 75th Anniversary

Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the ILR School

Our Stories

Laurie Ann Atienza ’11

Laurie Ann Atienza ’11 has been able to live her values, thanks to a career that allows her to fight for working people.
Laurie Ann Atienza ’11

Simon Boehme ’14

As a tech entrepreneur and mediator, Simon Boehme ‘14 has founded and advised multiple legal tech companies, along with writing and teaching online dispute resolution for the past 10 years.
Simon Boehme ’14

Mary Donlon, Trailblazer, Early ILR Supporter

A trailblazer who paved the way for women in the field of law, Mary Donlon, a 1920 Cornell graduate, was instrumental in establishing the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
Judge Mary Donlon, a 1920 Cornell graduate

Angelica Allen-McMillan ’91

Learn about one ILRie’s path to public education leadership.
Angelica Allen-McMillan ’91

U.S. Labor Secretary Frances Perkins

The first woman cabinet member was an ILR faculty member for eight years.
Frances Perkins (Frances Perkins Center)

ILR: “Like My Family”

A member of the ILR School’s first-ever class, Jerry Alpern ’49, MBA ’50, has provided a lifetime of commitment to his alma mater.
Jerry Alpern ’49, MBA ’50
Send us your story idea.

These stories are part of an ongoing series.
New stories are still coming in and we will share them throughout the academic year.


ILR – Continuing the Mission

Dean Alex Colvin speaks with David Lipsky, ILR alum, professor and former dean.
David Lipsky ’61

Sonia Guior ’15

Sonia Guior ‘15 is a self-described New Yorker, transportation nerd and aspiring Adirondack 46er. She also relies heavily on her ILR degree in her roles as employee, manager, union member and regulator of a rapidly evolving industry.
Sonia Guior ’15

Colin Benedict ‘21

Coming from the Akwesasne Mohawk territory, Colin Benedict ’21 has been a mentee for his fellow Indigenous students and an advocate for Indigenous rights on campus, work he hopes to continue long after he leaves Cornell.
Colin Benedict ‘21

Alex Kantrowitz ’09

“ILR taught me how to think. Looking at labor through multiple lenses … helped me build a 360-degree view of the way the world works,” alum says.
Alex Kantrowitz ’09

Liel Sterling ’21

ILR is preparing a generation of leaders to take on difficult questions and enact legal and policy change, according to ILR senior Liel Sterling.
Liel Sterling

Ben Francis-Fallon ’01

Ben Francis-Fallon ’01 takes the lessons he learned at ILR and applies them to educating the next generation as a history professor at Western Carolina University.
Ben Francis-Fallon ’01

Michael Sanchez ’23

Before coming to ILR, Michael Sanchez spent five years serving the United States in the Marine Corps, where he says he learned that quality leadership is the most important factor in the success of any team or company.
 Michael Sanchez ’23 sitting in a military helicopter

Ian Greer, M.S. ’03, Ph.D. ’05

Despite the world being more distanced, Ian Greer is fostering connections between workers in Ithaca and across the Atlantic.

Alex Eshelman ’22

ILR junior is making a difference through work with art and anti-violence organization OPEN DOORS.
Alex Eshelman ’22

Caleb Harden ’22

Storytelling through video -- ILR student Caleb Harden used his talent to produce a tribute to the Class of 2020 when the pandemic disrupted their final months at Cornell.
Caleb Harden, ILR School Class of 2022

Betsy East MILR ’89

Betsy East worked in a variety of positions at Cornell for nearly 40 years, using her MILR degree nearly every step of the way.
Betsy East, MILR ’89

Daniel James II ’22

The creator and host of “Black Voices on the Hill,’“ a new podcast featuring the stories and experiences of Black Cornell community members, is hosted by an ILR junior.
Daniel James II ’22

Dennis Woodside ’91

Dennis Woodside ’91 took his ILR degree to Stanford Law School, to a clerkship on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, to the boardrooms of some of the most recognizable companies in the country.
Dennis Woodside ’91

Jenniffer Flores ’22

ILR's influence is helping Jenniffer Flores lead students toward greater financial literacy.
Jenniffer Flores

Dustin Liu ’19

Dustin Liu ’19 is the son of Taiwanese immigrants who fostered in him the belief that individuals can inspire social change – a belief that was solidified during his time at ILR.
Dustin Liu ’19

Jeanell English ’10

The career path of Jeanell English ’10 emerged from a traditional human resources role into sport production, where she led the resource operations function that delivered Discovery’s first broadcast of an Olympic Games to Europe.
Jeanell English ’10

Professor Francine Blau ’66

The ILR School’s Frances Perkins Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations and a professor of economics, Blau has published widely.
Professor Fran Blau

Alumni Spotlight: Michael Storm Bohling

A Walt Disney World internship during his senior year introduced Michael Storm Bohling ’14 to an exciting world of work.
Michael Bohling ’14

Lois Spier Gray

ILR’s beloved matriarch, Lois Spier Gray, devoted 72 years to teaching and mentoring thousands of workers. As social justice and labor leaders, many continue her legacy.
Lois Gray

Atticus DeProspo ’15

Atticus DeProspo ’15 discusses the profound impact the ILR School had on him during his time as an openly gay men’s soccer player at Cornell, and how he continues to use his experiences at ILR to make a positive impact in society.
Atticus DeProspo ’15

Haley Velasco ’15

Haley Velasco ’15 may not have a typical ILRie career, but she credits the school for teaching her to pursue her passion wholeheartedly and to provide strong leadership to those around her.
Haley Velasco

Mitch Belisle ’07

Mitch Belisle ’07, a member of the Cornell Athletics Hall of Fame, was introduced to the excitement of entrepreneurship during his time at ILR, and he continues to draw on the lessons he learned at Cornell as he molds the next generation of lacrosse players.
Mitch Belisle

ILR – Poised for the Future

Robert McKersie, who helped shape the school’s trajectory, met with Dean Alex Colvin for a video conversation.
Robert McKersie

Martha Smith

Martha Smith has been known for decades for her skill in creating an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere for students in the ILR’s Office of Career Services. She retired after nearly 40 years of service in 2019.
Martha Smith

Alice Bacon Grant

Alice Bacon Grant was a legendary teacher, arbitrator, mentor and friend to many during the 25 years she spent as a faculty member at the ILR School.
Alice Grant

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